India’s top technology companies are providing digital training to blue- and grey-collar workers as well as external stakeholders like corner stores, as they scale up operations almost overnight amid an acute labour shortage because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Startups including Swiggy, Zomato, Grofers, BigBasket and Flipkart among others have had to impart training digitally to thousands of delivery executives, services staff, pickers, packers and warehousing workers quickly as the ongoing nationwide lockdown leaves no scope for in-person interactions.
Others, such as Urban Company, Ola and Uber are conducting online training for their service professionals and driver partners on best practices, faced with disruptions due to the virus outbreak.
The digital onboarding comes even as these startups have managed to push the envelope with respect to safety measures for their workforce and delivery partners.
The intent has been three-fold.
Staff safety, driving better product adoption and winning consumer trust.
Take for instance, Swiggy, which has launched grocery deliveries in 300 cities and its pickup and drop service Genie in 60 cities in less than 50 days. “We have never ever done a completely digital-only training for kirana (corner) store owners and delivery partners,” said Vivek Sunder, chief operating officer at Swiggy.
The company has used animated videos, voiceovers, static cards and other processes to communicate the key takeaways and assessments in a gamified manner. “We realised that videos alone will not suffice if we want to create a comprehensive learning program designed keeping in mind the various types of users, mobile devices and connectivity challenges,” a Swiggy spokesperson said.
Swiggy is not alone.
Businesses across the board are adopting more tools and modules to digitally communicate with blue-collar staff, sometimes in their native languages.
Flipkart, for instance, is using its in-house learning management system to onboard staff from earlier training supply chain workers on new processes.
Grofers is using tools like Invision, Adobe XD, Sketch and Fluid, as well as products like Noticeboard to drive adoption of digital learning, for onboarding and retention of employees.
“These tools are used to post and push training modules and training content, track and improve performance, enable community learning, reduce training time, conduct interactive polls and quizzes and share productivity data,” said Rohit Sharma, head of supply chain at Grofers.
The e-grocer has also extended the mechanisms to train workers on safety precautions, best practices of respiratory hygiene, and the importance of using safety gear. Urban Company, whose service professionals need to interact with customers, has also taken up training measures aimed at making most of its services contactless.
The startup has launched “Project Kavach” – a certification training programme – to help 30,000 partners take necessary precautions on personal safety and hygiene standards, usage of personal protective equipment, and standard operating procedures through a staggered seven-day virtual training programme.